Robert Lowery: The Second Batman

A brief shout-out for B movie actor Robert Lowery (Robert Lowery Hanks, 1913-1971). Missouri-born Hanks was reportedly related to Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln’s mother. His father was a Kansas City businessman; his mother, a concert pianist. In his young adulthood, Lowery sang with local orchestras and played minor league baseball. He broke into films as an extra and bit player in 1936. Some of his bigger early parts were in the 1939 John Ford films Young Mr. Lincoln and Drums Along the Mohawk.

This being the Halloween season, we mention some of Lowery’s horror and related credits first: you can see him in Revenge of the Zombies (1943), A Scream in the Dark (1943), The Mummy’s Ghost (1944), The Monster and the Ape (1945), The House of Horrors (1946), and Queen of the Amazons (1947). .

Some of his other better known roles include the part of Batman in the 1949 serial Batman and Robin, and regular parts on the television shows Circus Boy (1956-57) and Pistols ‘n’ Petticoats (1966-67). He also appeared in numerous westerns including several with Red Barry, such as The Dalton Gang (1949), I Shot Billy the Kid (1950) and Train to Tombstone (1950). He was Arnold Rothstein in Budd Boetticher’s The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960). Late films include the western classic McLintock! (1963) with John Wayne, and The Ballad of Josie (1967) with Doris Day, his last.